A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Me: (holding a copy of A Man Called Ove): Hey, you really need to read this book.  It’s great!

Other Person: Thanks, I need a book. What’s it about?

Me: A man who is trying to commit suicide.  It’s really funny!

Other Person: Uhhhhh, that’s okay. Actually, I don’t need a book right now.

Ove (pronounced Oo-vah) is a man who feels like he doesn’t quite belong.  He doesn’t understand people and they don’t understand him.  Ove has always known the proper way to act and makes it a point to act properly.  Too bad no one else does that. The times are just too modern for him.

Ove has experienced a lot of heartbreak and tragedy in his life and has decided that it is time to bid the world farewell.  Unfortunately (actually fortunately) for him, new neighbors along with their two young children have just moved into the house next door and have unknowingly thwarted his plans.  For Ove, things are about to change and a crazy cast of characters is about to enter his life.

This is a truly heartwarming and winning book that discusses grief, depression, and the need to be a valuable and contributing member of society in a laugh-out-loud fashion. The story fluctuates from whimsical to heartbreaking to humorous with every turn of the page.

Backman has succeeded in finding a balance and creating a moving and uplifting story where others may have turned this into an overly sentimental and melodramatic tale or, inversely, into something offensive and disrespectful.

I’m looking forward to the movie.

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